Lodge Ledger: Spread the word about OA High Adventure at your lodge’s winter banquet

By Austin Pauling

As winter spreads its icy hold across the nation, Arrowmen are beginning to gather at their lodge’s annual banquet to recognize the achievements and successes of the past year. Lodge banquets present a unique opportunity to promote the OA’s five high adventure programs. Just as there are many ways to promote your local summer camp, there are a variety of ways to promote OAHA programs. Many lodges will have an Arrowman give a brief speech regarding OAHA, which is a great way to spread the word. Lodges may also want to consider many other options to leave an even greater impact. A few possible ways to promote OAHA have been provided below so that your lodge can integrate these promotions as part of a successful winter banquet!

  1. Videos: The OA has produced several promotional videos which present firsthand accounts of participants’ experiences at the high adventure programs. These videos can be found at the official OAHA website: http://adventure.oa-bsa.org.
  2. Table tents or posters: Lodges have made use of these as a way to convey very detailed information about Order of the Arrow High Adventure programs. They help in facilitating discussion about OAHA and keep the Arrowmen actively thinking about the programs. They also provide a simple visual aid for the programs.
  3. Flyers banquet program inserts: This technique is one that an Arrowman will be able to take home with him. It will prompt Arrowmen to discuss OAHA with their troops and even in their chapters. These, like the videos, are also available on the OAHA website.
  4. Chapter/event fair: This method is one that is fairly new. Some lodges utilize this technique as it is not only a way to promote OAHA, but also events like summer camp, section conclave, National Leadership Seminar (NLS), National Lodge Adviser Training Seminar (NLATS), National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) and national and/or world Scout jamboree opportunities. In addition, each chapter from the lodge will have a booth with a game or interactive component that will allow Arrowmen to mingle with others they may not know. This would take place before and after the banquet so lodges can get the messages across to the most people possible.

These techniques, when used together along with a traditional speaker, could increase your lodge’s attendance at OAHA and many other events! Even the use of one or two of these would make a lasting impact on the Arrowmen in your lodge.

Be sure to remember that it is not only about how OAHA promotional material is presented, but the way it is presented too. When promoting OAHA, NOAC or any event for that matter, you should always have an enthusiastic and energetic person presenting the information. If the presenter is excited to be talking about it, Arrowmen are more likely to consider going to those events. Also, have them talk about the “why” in OAHA, beyond the basic facts and prices of the program. When Arrowmen and families understand the tremendous value of the programs, it will be much easier to invest in sending their sons to these programs.

Lastly, as we approach the centennial year of our Order, we must emphasize the importance of this year and the legacy that could be left behind. We must encourage our members to serve cheerfully and make the most of this centennial year. Being a part of this historic year is one of the greatest honors that Arrowmen can have. Make the most of the opportunities that are available this coming year and encourage others to do the same through OAHA programs!

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